‘A Pale View of Hills’ by Kazuo Ishiguro

Etsuko’s daughter, Keiko, has committed suicide. As she attempts to come to terms with this tragic event, Etsuko finds herself increasingly drawn into the past, to her old life in Japan, and in particular to one hot Nagasaki summer when she was newly married to her first husband, and befriended a strange woman named Sachiko…


I loved this haunting, atmospheric, novel: it’s a fascinating and engrossing study of memory, of motherhood, of guilt, and of the stories we tell ourselves. A gothic undercurrent runs throughout the novel – particularly apparent in Etsuko’s encounters with Mariko, Sachiko’s daughter. The relationship between Etsuko and Sachiko – and why this feels relevant to Etsuko in her present-day narrative – is something I am still pondering. This novel will get inside your brain, and into your bones; I recommend it highly.

Kazuo Ishiguro

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